Dovecote at Barholm Old Hall


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Dovecote at Barholm Old Hall
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1018683 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Sep-2019 at 06:42:04.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Kesteven (District Authority)
Barholm and Stowe
National Grid Reference:
TF 08862 10706

Reasons for Designation

Dovecotes are specialised structures designed for the breeding and keeping of doves as a source of food and as a symbol of high social status. Most surviving examples were built in the period between the 14th and the 17th centuries, although both earlier and later examples are documented. They were generally freestanding structures, square or circular in plan and normally of brick or stone, with nesting boxes built into the internal wall. They were frequently sited at manor houses or monasteries. Whilst a relatively common monument class (1500 examples are estimated to survive out of an original population of c.25,000), most will be considered to be of national interest, although the majority will be listed rather than scheduled. They are also generally regarded as an important component of local distinctiveness and character.

The dovecote at Barholm Old Hall is a complete standing structure surviving in good condition. It is rare in that all internal and external features, including nest boxes, roof turrets and other openings, have been preserved largely intact. As an important component of a 17th century manorial complex, it preserves valuable evidence for the way in which dovecotes functioned both economically and symbolically in high-status establishments of this period.


The monument includes a dovecote situated at Barholm Old Hall. The hall is a 17th century manor house incorporating remains of a medieval building but is not included in the scheduling. The dovecote, which stands on the east side of the hall, dates from the 17th century and is also Listed Grade II*.

The dovecote takes the form of a rectangular stone building aligned with the hall east-west. The walls are constructed of coursed, roughly-dressed limestone with large dressed stone quoins. On the ridge of the roof, which is tiled, there are two louvred turrets providing access for birds. In the west gable wall is a small wooden door which provided access for the keeper; the jambs and lintel of the doorway are constructed of large dressed stone blocks. In each gable there is a stone two-light mullioned window with a horizontal hoodmould, and the angles of the gables are each decorated with a small stone finial.

On the interior of the dovecote the walls are lined with the original stone nest boxes, arranged in tiers, each tier having a continuous alighting ledge. There are approximately 1500 nest boxes in all. Those in the east gable have been rebuilt at a later date in brick. At the centre of the interior is a raised stone table which would have provided a surface for food, water and salt, or was used to support a central pole (potence) against which ladders would have rested during the collection of eggs and birds.

The later stone outbuilding constructed against the east wall of the dovecote where it falls within the monument's protective margin is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 1 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].